Original Article

The Prevalence of Violence and Violent Characteristics in Alcohol and Drug Abusers Compared with Controls

Ayşegül Tosuner,Zehra Arıkan
2018, 2(2), s:39-46

Objective: To identify the prevalence of violence in alcohol and drug abusers and a control group; to determine the relationship between violent behavior and impulsivity, anger, aggression, traumatic childhood experiences and indicate whether prevalence of violence differs between periods of deprivation, soberness and while under the influence of alcohol/drugs.

Method: 49 alcohol abusers and 31 drug abusers aged 15-65 years were compared among themselves and also with 62 healthy controls; using a questionnaire including questions related with sociodemographic characteristics of violence, the Buss-Perry Aggression Scale, Barratt Impulsivity Scale, the State-Trait Anger Scale, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Hamilton Depression Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.

Results: The prevalence of psychological violence was 85%, physical violence 54%, sexual violence 6% and economic violence 10%. Significant differences were found in most of the variables among the groups, which were thought to be related to violent behavior.

Conclusion: In addition to medical treatment for addiction, psychotherapeutic interventions focusing on personality traits in areas such as anger control and impulsivity should be adopted. The fact that violence decreases in sober periods indicates that violence is rather a result of the nature of the substance.